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Business Operations Specialist

In a nutshell:

IDEO is in search of a Business Operations Specialist to join a regional team serving Chicago, New York, and Cambridge, MA. The role will be focused on our Chicago studio with select responsibilities that extend across the region. This individual will be responsible for performing various finance and operations-related tasks.

Operations at IDEO is highly cross-functional, touching finance, legal, business development, and project management, as required. We sit at the intersection of business and design, both for our clients and for IDEO itself. Our pace is fast, our processes fluid, and our environment less than traditional. We are looking for someone who thrives in this type of environment, is detail-oriented, and  organized. Flexibility, curiosity, and multi-tasking are key given the ever-evolving nature and complexity of our work.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?:

“BizOps” plays a critical role at IDEO: we ensure the successful winning, execution, and delivery of our work by providing a cross-functional perspective; we enable the smooth operation of the studio and global business; we help protect and foster our unique culture by managing risks and creating business processes; and we work with creative leadership to communicate business best practices. A key part of this role is being a sense-maker for communicating business health to a highly creative community that craves stories and visual narrative more than excel spreadsheets.

Once here you will:

  • Collaborate with a regional Business Operations team to provide support that is focused on the Chicago studio, with select duties that extend across the region (Chicago, NY, and Cambridge)
  • Oversee the financial health of a portfolio of design projects (roughly 15-20 at a time), interfacing regularly with Project Leaders to ensure they’re well supported and that commitments are being met in a timely manner. Key responsibilities include enabling our project teams and finance department to achieve financial objectives such as: delivering projects on time and on budget, limiting IDEO’s exposure through timely invoicing and collections and spotting scope change and preparing change orders for additional fees and documentation. You may also connect with clients should they have any needs or questions during the course of a project.
  • Work closely with our Business Development team; assist in reviewing statements of work, pricing project opportunities, shepherding the legal process as appropriate, creating expense estimates and constructing invoice schedules.
  • Prepare various types of weekly and monthly financial reporting for our business,  for example, business development data and talent utilization.
  • In collaboration with the Business Operations Team, track our location performance, both in the weeds and above the trees. You’ll assist with much of the ongoing reporting that goes to senior leadership and constantly evolve these based on our business needs.
  • Provide thoughtful analyses of our core business. You’ll marry disparate pieces of info from finance, legal, and design teams to provide a holistic perspective that informs thoughtful decision-making.
  • Continually seek opportunities to help us work smarter via new/refined tools and processes, and be able to identify the places where measurement matters most.
  • Collaborate on special projects as needed.

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. We work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • 3-5 years of work experience in a strategic planning, operations, or finance role, preferably at a creative agency, studio, or consulting services firm.
  • Comfortable in both business and design, with an interest in translating between the two.
  • Flexible, hyper detail-oriented, having exemplary time management and organizational skills.
  • Capable of building relationships and collaborating with a variety of stakeholders
  • Extensive experience with Excel and having a command of finance and accounting.
  • Can manage several projects at a time with high impact and quality.
  • Able to construct stories from data to make solid, actionable recommendations, focusing on the “so what” behind the numbers.
  • Exemplary discretionary skills, demonstrating sound judgment in dealing with confidential dialogs and information.
  • Able to navigate ambiguity, juggle lots of responsibilities and prioritize accordingly.

Application instructions:

Please submit your resume and cover letter, tell us why you want to work at IDEO and explain what excites you about this role.

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Apply now
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